Disability Employment Awareness (& Action) Month (DEAM) is a campaign that promotes inclusion within the job market for people with disabilities who face barriers to employment. Throughout October, DEAM Alberta showcases events and activities celebrating, promoting and bringing awareness to inclusive employment practices.
In Calgary, the annual DEAM kick off event took place at City Hall on October 3rd with a proclamation by Major Jyoti Gondek, officially recognizing the month of October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.
The theme for DEAM 2022 was Disability is Diversity – Futureproofing Alberta’s Workforce and focused on the emerging needs of employers as concern grows in the business community about the current labour shortage and the future recruitment challenges that companies will face.
This year, through its events across the province, DEAM aimed to demonstrate to the business community that there is an underutilized pool of talent that can be tapped into to meet hiring demands and that businesses can benefit by bringing in talented candidates that provide unique backgrounds, experience and ideas.
With a generation of employees moving towards retirement age expected to add more downward pressure on labour force participation and labour force growth, it is vital that companies assess new opportunities for recruitment. In addition, the inaugural DEAM IDEA conference took place in Canmore and offered service providers an opportunity to share knowledge and best practices.
On October 20th The Sinneave Family Foundation hosted Worktopia Connects 2022. Worktopia is a National Employment Network with a shared goal to change the odds of employment success for people on the autism spectrum. We welcome and encourage diverse participation in the Worktopia Network. Members include Autistics, family members, employers, service providers, human resource professionals, researchers, and policy makers.
The Worktopia Connects 2022 event was for all types and sizes of employers, at any stage of the inclusion journey. Attendees left with practical information, an action guide and community connections to help their business take the next steps in embracing neurodiversity in the workplace. You can Click here to find these resources on the Worktopia website.
Throughout the event, autistic self-advocates were also able to share their own unique experiences in their employment journey in order to provide attendees with the most important of all perspectives on inclusive employment.
If you are interested in learning more about the Worktopia National Employment Network, click here to visit the website.
DEAM 2022 wrapped up with the Annual Awards Gala where inclusive employers and business champions were recognized for the actions they have taken to promote inclusive practices, not only in their work, but also in the work of others. We would like to congratulate all of the nominees and award winners, the recognition is well and truly deserved.
As October comes to a close, we reflect on all of the success and celebrations that took place this month. Every year DEAM’s reach continues to grow and that is due to the passionate self-advocates, organizers, businesses and service providers that work to support and advocate for inclusive employment.